Society’s Attitude Breeds And Sustains Poverty
Sanjai Pramod, an engineering student opens his mind to our society’s double standards while it deals with something as basic as poverty
On May 02, 2015


India is a country where the wealthy live while the poor struggle to facilitate a good life for the rich. Sounds a bit odd doesn’t it?

Every person that breathes automatically falls under the category of “The Living”, but what really is the point of living when you have to struggle to survive and live off the crumbs of the high and mighty. What really is the point of living when all you do is work to your grave?

Now many will argue that the point of existence is beyond financial necessities and lies on the boundaries of acquiring happiness from family, nature and the joy of others. While they might be right in some aspects, I would invite them to live a day in the lives of those below the poverty line and see whether their old state of mind match their new one. Money has seemed to prioritize life, instantly putting one part of society on an iron throne laughing mockingly at the rest.

The problem is not that some people work harder than others nor is it that some people had their stars aligned in the perfect way. The problem lies with society and how hypocrites claim to want to help the poor but turn their back the second a poor man begs for food.

Society has laid down the law saying the poor will remain poor while the rich will only get richer. Regardless of the theories of Science versus Religion as far as evolution is concerned, we were all brought here to live as equals. When humanity started on a neutral ground where each man had just as much as the other, how did we end up where we are now? Exactly, society.

Charlie Chaplin once said in his movie ‘The Great Dictator’, “The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost our way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls”.

These words aptly represent society today. In 2012, the Indian Government stated that 21.9% of its population live below the poverty line. So in a country where about 300 million people live on less than $1.25, how do we afford to host such big competition like the IPL? How do we afford to build massive hotels all over the country? How do we afford to produce big budget movies with scenes shot in different parts of the world?

It’s the greed of materialistic people that allows a developing country like India to sanction their high-spending endeavours. It truly is disturbing when our country caters to the needs of foreigners and tourists before catering to the needs of its own. If the money spent on the IPL, or blockbuster movies was instead used to diminish the poverty line, India would well be on the verge of financial stability.

According to a White Paper on Black Money in India report, Indians have about US$2.1 billion in Swiss Banks. If this money was rightfully tax levied and given to the government, the government would be able to afford improving the living conditions of the poor all over the country. So it’s clear that the sheer ignorance and hypocrisy of society prevents the removal of the poverty line.

I mean think about it, in a country where actors that pretend to lose their lives on screen are hailed as national treasures compared to actual soldiers that either come back from battle traumatized or don’t come back at all, what hope does helping the poor have?  

Grow up, not in age but in mentality. We are not machine-hearted men; we are blessed with the gift of humanity. So if you’re lucky enough to have money to sustain yourself, look deep into your soul and introspect as to whether you really need that new SUV to go places or instead ensure that a 100 people could eat three meals a day for a month.

Sanjai Pramod
2nd year BE, Computer Science, Vellore Institute Of Technology
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